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BOXED IN BY A BAFFLING SITE

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WEBWATCH

When you start up the Stickland Coombe website, at www. sticklandcoombe.

com, you get three small grey rectangles down the bottom left. That's it. This is a classic example of what one of my colleagues has termed a 'guess-what's-going-on' site.

In fact, this home page is so enigmatic I had to switch between Mozilla and Internet Explorer to see if it made any difference. Nope - just those three grey rectangles in a reverse L formation down the bottom left.

So you gingerly click on the left-hand rectangle.

It becomes an open box. How informative. Try the next one and the grey becomes a box again, but with the word 'exhibition' next to it. The grey rectangle at the top says 'architecture'. Here we have learned the first lesson in navigating this site. Only we haven't, because the first rectangle eventually brings up the practice name and some awards. Clicking on 'architecture' brings up a load of open rectangular boxes. Eventually you get the idea that clicking on them produces images.

All this mysterious rectangle stuff at the beginning though is going to put people off discovering some fine photography and neat (though not very well thought-out) design. Not so clever after all.

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